The Jonah Initiative training in Baguio and several other locations throughout Asia has prepared and is preparing many former Muslims to share their newfound faith in Christ in their countries. Here are just a few of the stories of many who have been trained to reach Muslims in Asia Pacific.
A couple, Fardin and Zarat , came to the training from a highly restrictive Muslim nation in Asia. They told us how missionaries came to their homeland several years ago, and through the missionaries’ Spirit empowered witness both Fardin’s and Zarat’s fathers came to faith in Christ. The fathers did so at great risk and experienced rejection from their broader communities. But through their strong faith, those two fathers remained committed to Christ. Fardin’s father, who is now in his 80s, continues to give witness of Christ and to be persecuted for his faith. As a result of their fathers’ faith, Fardin and Zarat not only gave their lives to Christ but also now sense God’s call to minister to Muslims. They have become part of a vibrant house church network. The Spirit’s anointing clearly rests upon Fardin and Zarat. The Lord has already used them through powerful witness to see at least 80 former Muslims accept Christ and follow Him in water baptism.
Alysha, a former Muslim, came to the Baguio training from a country near China. She told us that for several years a close friend, a Christian, shared Jesus with her and invited her to church, but Alysha kept saying no. She feared her family’s rejection. Finally, Alysha accepted her friend’s invitation, reached out to know Christ and was filled with His peace and forgiveness. In spite of the fact that her family has rejected her, Alysha is now responding to the Lord’s call to take the gospel to her mother’s people, the unreached people group of the Uighurs.
Nargiza,* a former Muslim from a Central Asian republic, recently shared her story with our team. Her brother, out of curiosity, attended a local house church to see what it was about. After he encountered Jesus and was dramatically saved, Nargiza saw a marked transformation in his life. Her brother suddenly possessed a new peace and joy she had not witnessed in anyone. Nargiza then started attending the same house church. A short time later, Nargiza opened her heart to Christ and experienced the same transformational power.
However, she had not anticipated the strong opposition she would experience from her family. The antagonism from her own mother included physical beatings, magic spells, and other forms of intimidation to keep Nargiza from following Christ. She eventually had to move out of her home just to survive and continue following Jesus.
As a single woman, other secret Christians in her city gratefully received her and demonstrated hospitality and kindness. During the class on Folk Islam, Nargiza came to understand the spiritual warfare she was facing. She recognized it was not just natural opposition, but rather a spiritual attack. Our team prayed with Nargiza and taught her insights on how to pray against the attacks of the enemy! Nargiza’s story is a reminder of the price former Muslims pay when they decide to follow Christ. It often includes deep emotional rejection by family and friends in their community. Former Muslims encounter spiritual battles they cannot take on alone.